Prospects is committed to working in partnership with organisations from all sectors. We have forged a diverse and comprehensive network of partners, who collaborate to deliver shared aspirations of social inclusion and economic prosperity. All partners like Prospects are grounded in their core values. Relationships are built on mutual respect, open and honest communication and equality regardless of size or sector whether third sector, public or private.
Prospects Employment & Training in the South West is one of the two Prime Contractors for the Programme in CPA 11 (Somerset, Dorset, Devon & Cornwall) although we have many years' experience of successfully delivering DWP contracts in the South West as a whole.
Our response to the Work Programme involves greater support and resources for customers who are furthest from the labour market, to help them overcome multiple barriers to employment, including skills development and training. We recognise the distance some customers need to travel to become employable and help them to deal with issues such as literacy and numeracy, housing, dependency and debt, as well as helping local communities and families. Our ethos is to create a service which helps to build customers' confidence and self- esteem, enabling them to get and sustain a job. Our approach includes:
Holistic approach to ‘worklessness’
Measuring and rewarding progress
Ensuring no one gets left behind
Dealing with the issues of ‘worklessness’ prior to helping people into employment
The most innovative part of our work is the Ascent model. This concentrates on challenging and changing ingrained behaviours in a systematic way through a combination of appropriate interventions, on-going assessment, one-to-one support and, where required, specialist assistance.
Prospects' support is very much built around the individual needs of each customer: there is no ‘one size fits’ all approach. All customers can access our Ascent Customer Support Line, which operates for over 15 hours each day and there is individual support from their Ascent Adviser.
This is linked with targeted individual help for customers such as long-term, poorly-qualified and older jobseekers. Customers can undertake community and social enterprise projects to develop skills, gain experience and obtain references to help with job applications. Participants can also take part in local sports teams and achievement projects, to help build their CVs.
Prospects offers work trials in the community and with employers linked to appropriate job opportunities. Through working closely with local employers we help to find 'hidden vacancies' and ensure our skills and application support meets the needs of the local employment market.
Below are detailed some of the innovative interventions that Prospects utilises in the delivery of the Work Programme:
Aspiration and Motivation - Increasing motivation to return to the labour market and customers' confidence/self-esteem. Interventions promote the benefits of a healthy and balanced lifestyle, identify the personal and social benefits of working, meeting new people and gaining a sense of achievement, while exploring the financial benefits of working.
Skills for the Future - focusing on developing customers' functional skills and managing their personal circumstances effectively. Workshops cover better understanding of people, sustaining a job, budgeting and debt management, dealing with change in life and in the workplace, social networking, good communication and knowing the local employment market.
Challenges - help to overcome personal challenges which prevent a customer from finding and maintaining employment, including caring commitments or dealing with health problems and disabilities or other issues including debt, homelessness, criminal behaviour, addiction, and discrimination.
Employer Desirability - Helping customers prepare for the competitive labour market, overcoming issues around long-term unemployment, help with personal presentation, exploring appropriate body language, managing conflicts, developing a positive work ethic, feedback and testimonials from employers, training for a long term career and selling themselves positively.
Notable Influences - Tackling and challenging generational, unemployment, environmental and social influences, raising aspirations, challenging stereotypes and perceptions, role models and inspirations, and challenging media perceptions.
Prospects runs many different workshops and other interventions. One example is our Heroes to Inspire workshop which was featured on local TV and in the press. Prospects is working with the Royal Marines to act as mentors and role models for customers in a series of workshops, with the aim of helping customers to improve their motivation and change negative, limiting mind sets.